IT IS NO PART of the purpose of this book to present a history of town planning. Nor can a comprehensive analysis of contemporary planning problems be attempted. The object is more modest: it is to discuss where the houses that will be needed in the next twenty years should be built. Yet this is not a simple matter: it raises problems which cannot be isolated from those of the distribution of industry, of transport, of agriculture, of the comparative costs (financial, economic, and social) of building houses and flats, of the planning machinery, of the structure of local government, and a host of others. Some of these issues involve questions which are essentially ‘political’, i.e. they have no simple solution which will satisfy all legitimate claims: the ‘right’ answer is a matter of judgement, of weighing conflicting claims and deciding which are on balance most important. Some are complex matters on which inadequate research has been undertaken. In many cases it is easier to raise questions than it is to answer them. Of necessity, therefore, the following discussion does not provide a blueprint for future policy; rather does it assemble the facts of the present situation and outline some of the major planning problems of the immediate future.